Tom Swift Young Inventor: Into the Abyss
Ages 8 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2006, 1-4169-1518-4
Tom Swift is not exactly your average sort of boy. For one thing he is an extraordinary inventor making things that most people can only dream about. For another Tom does not think there is anything special about the peculiar adventures that he seems to find himself in. At the moment Tom is very excited about a new diving suit that he has invented. The suit is designed to be safely worn in depths of up to fifteen thousand feet below the surface of the ocean. He has also invented a pretty efficient shark “zapper” which could be very useful for anyone who dives in waters where there are sharks.
Tom is therefore thrilled when his father invites his son, and two of Tom’s friends, to join him on a special mission. Tom’s father, who is also an inventor and scientist, is planning on trying out a new submarine. The plan is to use the submarine to put equipment on the ocean floor which will make it possible to tell when an undersea earthquake has occurred.
At first all goes well. The new sub performs as expected and the first earthquake sensor is laid. Then an earthquake takes place and contact with the sub on the ocean floor is cut off. On the surface Tom has no idea what condition the sub beneath him is in but he is going to do his best to rescue his father before it is too late.
In this engrossing book young readers will not only find themselves getting caught up in Tom’s adventures, but they will also learn a great deal about diving, ocean creatures, and other subjects. The author manages to incorporate a great deal of science into his story which makes it both interesting and, incidentally, educational. Tom and his friends are easy to relate to and their behavior and speech are very true to their age group and personalities.
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